49ers

49ers defensive player-by-player review

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49ers defensive player-by-player review

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio employed a philosophy similar to what he showed the previous week against the Arizona Cardinals.

But Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was not as confused by the coverages as was Cardinals quarterback John Skelton one week earlier. Flacco completed 15 of 23 passes for just 161 yards and one touchdown. He did not throw any interceptions, and the 49ers failed to force a turnover for only the second time this season.
And after reviewing the film, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he had no problem with the defensive approach."I thought our defense was effective with the scheme we were using," Harbaugh said.The 49ers' defense kept the ball in front of them. There were times while the Ravens converted six third downs in the second half that the 49ers missed chances to tackle a Baltimore receiver short of the sticks but failed.On Flacco's 23 pass attempts, the 49ers rushed three men on four occasions. They rushed four men 18 times. Once they brought five pass-rushers. (The 49ers also brought five on another play, and Flacco scrambled for 6 yards on a third-and-7 play.)Here is the entire defensive player-by-player review from the 49ers' 16-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday:Defensive linemen
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Started at nose tackle and played nearly 30 snaps, as the 49ers went with their base defense for most of the game. . . . He had a strong game at clogging up the inside, as he was credited with six tackles. . . He helped limit the Ravens to just 2.6 yards per rushing attempt.
91-Ray McDonald: Started at left defensive end and played every defensive snap. . . He had seven tackles in the game and generally played very well. . . . Right tackle Michael Oher made a block on him that opened the hole for Ricky Williams to gain 12 yards and get into position for the final field goal - that gave the Ravens a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter.
93-Ian Williams: Inactive (coaches' decision). (Follow on Twitter @IWilliams95
94-Justin Smith: Started at right defensive end, and recorded five tackles and one quarterback hurry. . . . Got blocked by left tackle Bryant McKinnie to open hole for Ray Rice on 10-yard gain on first drive.
95-Ricky Jean Francois: He saw limited action in the 49ers' base defense. He was not credited with any tackles. (Follow on Twitter @Freakyjean95)
96-Demarcus Dobbs: Saw limited action on special teams.Linebackers
51-Blake Costanzo: Played on all the special teams and came up with two solo tackles. (Follow on Twitter @BlakeCostanzo51)
52-Patrick Willis: Started at middle linebacker and recorded eight tackles with one for a loss and a pass broken up. . . . Closed hard to drop Rice for 1-yard gain after completion on first drive of the game. . . . Leveled Williams out of the backfield after he had already dropped ball on first drive of the game. (Follow on Twitter @PatrickWillis52)
53-NaVorro Bowman: Started at inside linebacker and tied with Willis for team-high honors with eight tackles. . . . Went high as teammate Donte Whitner went low to stop Williams for a no gain on third-and-1 in the fourth quarter to force a punt. . . . In coverage against Rice, who picked up 17 yards on a swing pass to convert a third-and-4 on the drive that ended with the field goal that gave the Ravens a 10-point lead. (Follow on Twitter @NBowman53)
54-Larry Grant: Played on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @LarryGrant54)
55-Ahmad Brooks: Started at left outside linebacker and recorded three tackles and one quarterback hurry. . . . Was in coverage against Anquan Boldin on 16-yard reception on first drive of the game. . . Diagnosed Joe Flacco's quarterback draw in second quarter and controlled right tackle Michael Oher to the point where Flacco had no options on either side of him. Flacco was dropped for no gain. . . . Got good pressure against Flacco to force incomplete pass and end Ravens' first series of the game. Ravens kicked a field goal.
56-Tavares Gooden: Played exclusively on special teams.
98-Parys Haralson: Started at right outside linebacker, and was credited with two tackles as he played on all the base downs, mostly defending Ravens run plays.
99-Aldon Smith: He played fewer than 20 plays, as he entered the game in nickel situations. . . He was credited with three tackles. . . He ran over Oher and got in Flacco's face to force a second-quarter incomplete pass to force a punt. . . . Good penetration and stacked up Flacco on QB draw at the 5-yard line in the second quarter. . . Got inside of McKinnie to stop Rice for 1-yard loss on a third-and-5 just before Ravens' final field goal. (Follow on Twitter @AldonSmithJETS)Defensive backs
20-Madieu Williams: Played exclusively on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @MadieuWilliams)
22-Carlos Rogers: Started at left cornerback, and was credited with two tackles and a pass defensed. . . He gave receiver Anquan Boldin the inside on a slant that went for 22 yards on a third-down play on opening drive of the game. . . Tight coverage on Boldin to break up third-quarter pass. . .
25-Tarell Brown: Started at right cornerback and was credited with two tackles. . . . Had deep coverage on speedster Torrey Smith. He was called for pass interference for not allowing Smith to get both arms up to go for the ball. The 50-yard pass-interference penalty nullified Brown's interception in the second quarter and led to a Ravens field goal. . . Gave Smith way too much cushion on a third-and-4, allowing Smith to catch an 11-yard pass for a first down in fourth quarter.
26-Tramaine Brock: Played on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @T26Brock)
27-C.J. Spillman: Mostly played special teams, but came in as part of the 49ers' goal-line defense. He avoided block of tight end Ed Dickson and threw Rice for a 4-yard loss on a second-and-goal from the 1. . Was called for an offside on 49ers' second kickoff of the game. . . (Follow on Twitter @CJSPILLMAN27)
29-Chris Culliver: Played as the 49ers third cornerback, and was credited with five tackles and one pass broken up. . . Broke up pass to Torrey Smith in the end zone at end of the third quarter. . . (Follow on Twitter @Cullyinthehouse)
30-Reggie Smith: Saw limited action as part of the 49ers dime package. He was not credited with any tackles. (Follow on Twitter @superreg30)
31-Donte Whitner: Started at strong safety and played every snap. . . He recorded six tackles. . . On one of the 49ers' few blitzes, he came up to stop a Flacco scramble for a 6-yard gain on third-and-7. . . Made open-field tackle of Rice for a 9-yard gain to save a touchdown at the SF 6-yard line. . . Missed tackle of Lee Evans short of the sticks that turned into a third-down conversion on the opening drive of third quarter. . . . Tight end Dennis Pitta worked in front of him to catch 8-yard touchdown from Flacco on first play of the fourth quarter. . . . Went low while Bowman went high to stop Williams on a third-and-1 play to force a punt in the fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @DonteWhitner)
36-Shawntae Spencer: Inactive (coaches decision).
38-Dashon Goldson: Started at free safety and recorded three tackles, but did not make any plays in the passing game. (Follow on Twitter @thehawk38)
43-Colin Jones: Played exclusively on special teams. . . .Called offside on opening kickoff to give the Ravens a 5-yard boost.Specialists
2-David Akers: Made field-goal attempts of 45 and 52 yards. He is now 6-for-6 on attempts beyond 50 yards this season. (Follow on Twitter @DavidAkers2)
4-Andy Lee: His leg was feeling good, as he averaged 57.6 yards (48.0 net) on five punts with one of his punts landing inside the 20. (Follow on Twitter @Andy4lee)
86-Brian Jennings: He handled all the long-snapping duties. (Follow on Twitter @Jennings141)

Report: Former No. 3 overall pick works out for 49ers

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USATI

Report: Former No. 3 overall pick works out for 49ers

The 49ers appear to have plenty of depth along their front seven, but the team brought in three defensive linemen for workouts on Tuesday, according to a source.

One of those players is reportedly Tyson Jackson, the No. 3 overall pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009. The identities of the other two players were not immediately known.

Jackson has been without a team since the Falcons released him in March with two years and $8.5 million remaining on his contract. His workout with the 49ers was reported by the NFL Network. He also worked out recently with the Los Angeles Rams.

Jackson, 31, spent his first five season in Kansas City before playing three years with the Falcons. He appeared in all 16 games last season, starting seven times, and recorded 13 tackles and no sacks.

The 49ers have an abundance of defensive linemen, or players capable of rushing the passer from a position along the defensive line, such as DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Earl Mitchell, Elvis Dumervil, Aaron Lynch, Chris Jones, Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial, Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Ronald Blair and D.J. Jones.

Veterans most vulnerable to losing roster spots with 49ers

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USATI

Veterans most vulnerable to losing roster spots with 49ers

At the midway point of the 49ers’ exhibition season, there continues to be a lot of competition and more than a handful of veterans who have yet to lock down roster spots.

“I can tell you, it’s going to be real tough to cut it down to 53,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said last week. “We’re going to need all this game and practices to evaluate that.”

Here are the 49ers’ returning veteran players whose roster spots appear to be the most vulnerable with two weeks of practices and two exhibition games remaining to prove themselves:

OLB Ahmad Brooks
Brooks’ $4.45 million base salary is not much of a concern, considering the team is still $65.2 million under the salary cap. The number that factors into this decision the most is 33. That’s Brooks’ age.

If he is not clearly better than 23-year-old Eli Harold at the SAM linebacker position, the 49ers might want to keep the younger player to develop. Brooks is not talked about for his locker-room presence, so this decision will be made solely for what he does on the field and what he is expected to give the team in the future.

“You want to know who’s got the most upside and things like that,” Shanahan said. “Who’s going to be better throughout the year, if given the opportunity. But you also want to know who when it’s all said and done who’s going to affect your win-loss record the most. Those are the things that I look at personally. You don’t always want to think who’s the best guy for Week 1. Who’s the best guy for the 2017 49ers?”

OG Zane Beadles
Beadles is currently working with the first-team offense, but his spot on the roster remains vulnerable. The 49ers’ decision-makers do not seem impressed with their offensive guards. The 49ers could look to pick up a guard from another team before the start of the season.

The jury is still out on Joshua Garnett, who had a good start to camp. But his play dropped off in Week 2 – perhaps because of the knee injury that required a procedure to clean up cartilage. Garnett may not be available for the start of the regular season.

Also, the 49ers may want to hold onto undrafted rookie lineman Erik Magnuson, who has a bigger upside than Beadles with youth, size and ability to play guard and center.

NT Quinton Dial
Earl Mitchell appears locked-in as the 49ers’ starting nose tackle. The 49ers also seem to have high hopes for rookie D.J. Jones. It’s unclear where that leaves Dial, who does not appear to be a great fit for the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme.

Dial should be a starter in the NFL. But he is better-suited to be positioned in a 3-4 scheme, using his strength and power as a two-gap player rather than adapt to a one-gap scheme in which quickness and agility are the main requirements.

DE Aaron Lynch
Before sustaining an ankle injury, Lynch had done everything the 49ers wanted of him – including reporting to camp at the weight that was ordered. Lynch also looked very good in the 49ers’ exhibition opener, recording two sacks against Kansas City.

But Lynch’s spot is not guaranteed, by any means. Arik Armstead, Elvis Dumervil, Ronald Blair and rookie Pita Taumoepenu all can play similar roles. If Lynch does not eat well or maintain his conditioning while rehabbing from his ankle injury, he could erase all of the positive steps he took at the beginning of camp.

TE Vance McDonald
The onus was on McDonald at the beginning of camp to win his way onto the team. His solid play has increased his odds of a roster spot, but it is not a sure thing. This is a position where all the incumbents – McDonald, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell -- face stiff challenges.

George Kittle will definitely be on the team. Blocking specialist Logan Paulsen and rookie Cole Hikutini are also in the mix. Hikutini does not appear ready to be a contributor this season. If they waive him with hopes of placing him on the practice squad, it seems unlikely another team would claim him for their 53-man roster. But is that a chance the 49ers are willing to take?

DE Tank Carradine
Carradine appears to be on solid footing at the 49ers’ big-end position, considering he remains on the first-team defense despite the addition of Solomon Thomas, the No. 3 overall selection. But it seems to be only a matter of time before Thomas takes on a greater role. Carradine could still be kept around as a backup.

Ronald Blair, a fifth-round draft pick in 2016, was buried on the depth chart at the beginning of camp. And a pulled groin muscle that has kept him out of action for more than a week does not help is cause, either.